Pontiac Silverdome: Wikis


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Pontiac Silverdome
The Silverdome, The Dome
Former names Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium (1975)
Location 1200 Featherstone Road, Pontiac, Michigan 48342
Coordinates 42°38′45″N 83°15′18″W / 42.64583°N 83.255°W / 42.64583; -83.255Coordinates: 42°38′45″N 83°15′18″W / 42.64583°N 83.255°W / 42.64583; -83.255
Broke ground September 19, 1973
Opened August 23, 1975, Re-opening planned for April 17, 2010[5]
Closed February, 2006
Owner Andreas Apostolopoulos Family Triple Investment Group
Operator Triple Sports & Entertainment
Surface AstroTurf (1975-2005)
FieldTurf (2005-2006)
Construction cost $55.7 million
Capacity Football: 80,311
93,682 (largest crowd, for a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II) [1][2]
Detroit Lions (NFL) (1975–2001)
Detroit Pistons (NBA) (1978–1988)
Michigan Panthers (USFL) (1983–1984)
Detroit Express (NASL) (1978–1980)
Cherry Bowl (NCAA) (1984–1985)
Motor City Bowl (NCAA) (1997–2001)
FIFA World Cup (1994)

The Pontiac Silverdome is a domed stadium located in the city of Pontiac, Michigan. It sits on 127 acres (51 ha). It hosted the Detroit Lions of the NFL from 1975–2001, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA from 1978–1988, the Michigan Panthers of the USFL from 1983–1984, the college football Cherry Bowl in 1984 and 1985 and Motor City Bowl from 1997 until 2001, the MHSAA football state finals from 1976–2004, and four first-round games during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. It was also one of the largest stadiums in the NFL during this time, after FedEx Field which opened in 1997.[citation needed]

For the World Cup games, a natural grass surface capable of growing inside the dome was developed and installed by a team from Michigan State University.[3] This grass surface was laid upon wooden pallets atop the artificial turf that is usually used. It was the first time that World Cup games were played indoors.[citation needed]

The Silverdome also hosted the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI on January 24, 1982, and the 1988 and 1991 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Midwest Regionals. It also hosted three sold out concerts of the The Jacksons Victory Tour August 17-19 of 1984. In 1987, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass there. Elvis Presley also performed a concert there on New Year's Eve in 1975, and had vowed to play there every other year. On March 29, 1987, the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania III reputedly set the largest indoor attendance record for a sporting event, with an announced crowd of 93,173.[4][5][6][7] The total has since been disputed, and is frequently listed at 78,000.[8][9][10]

On July 15, 1994, English rock band Pink Floyd performed their classic album The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for the first time since 1975. They played two shows on what turned out to be the band's final North American tour in 1994 in support of their album The Division Bell.[11]





The idea of a major sports complex was part of a dream of C. Don Davidson,[12][13] a Pontiac, Michigan resident and star high school athlete. Davidson, upon graduating from Pontiac Central High School in 1947 [14] and active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, attended North Carolina State University on a football scholarship. After earning a masters degree in urban planning and architecture, Davidson began his career as an architect and was recognized for several government and city projects throughout the south including Florida's Jacksonville International Airport. Upon returning home to Pontiac in 1965, he was shocked to see the deterioration of the city of Pontiac and its lack of a future plan. Davidson embarked upon what would eventually become an obsession for him to see his beloved city succeed. In 1966-67, he was hired as a professor of architecture and urban planning at the University of Detroit under the direction of Bruno Leon, Dean of the school of architecture.[15]

Later on, Davidson met with various city and state authorities including William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions, to discuss the possibility of a new stadium, made it a college class project to find a suitable place for a new stadium and even started his own weekly newspaper known as The Pontiac Times,[16][17] to help promote his vision. After much controversy and sparring with Detroit city officials, Pontiac was chosen as the best site for construction of what would become known as the Pontiac Silverdome.[18][19] Already having a stadium concept as part of his master plan for the city, Davidson was interviewed and ultimately hired as chief project designer for the stadium project by the architectural firm of O'dell, Hewlett & Luckenbach.[20] Initial designs included a dual stadium complex for both football and baseball that was later scrapped due to high costs. Davidson was pleased to see a part of his vision for the city of Pontiac accomplished in the building of the 80,000-seat sports complex.[21][22] Completed in 1975 as the Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium, at a cost of $55.7 million, the Silverdome seats 80,311. It contains 102 luxury suites and 7,384 club seats.

Original silver-like roof

The original silver-like roof was built of Teflon-coated fiberglass panels, and supported by air pressure inside the stadium. Although the roof has always been white in color as viewed with the naked eye, the stadium obtained the name "Silverdome" due to a silver-like reflection caused by the sun, mainly noticed from the sky.[23] The roof was replaced by a new canvas fabric reinforced by steel girders after a freak spring snowstorm on March 4, 1985 caused structural damage to the old roof. Because of the damage, the Detroit Pistons played the remainder of the 1984–85 season at Joe Louis Arena [24] before eventually moving thirty miles north to a new 20,000-seat sports arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills, beginning with the 1988–89 season.

Notable audience attendance numbers

The largest crowd to ever gather at the Silverdome for an event was 93,682 for a visit and Mass by Pope John Paul II in 1987. The second largest crowd was on March 29, 1987 for WrestleMania III, with an announced attendance of 93,173, though the actual total is generally considered to be closer to 78,000. Another notable audience attendance record had earlier been broken on April 30, 1977, when English rock band Led Zeppelin played in front of 76,229 fans at the Silverdome. This was at the time a new world record attendance for a solo indoor attraction, beating the 75,962 that The Who attracted there in December 1975.[25] The Detroit Pistons also set numerous NBA attendance records during their time at the Silverdome.

Marching band activities and events

The Silverdome was also the home to many marching band activities and events, including the Michigan Competing Band Association State Marching Band Championships until 2005, the Bands of America Regional championships from 2003 to 2005, and the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 1987 and 1988.

Usage after Lions' move to Ford Field

The Lions moved to Ford Field at the beginning of the 2002 NFL season. When the World Hockey Association (WHA) tried to re-introduce itself, the new WHA Detroit team was slated to play their home games at the Silverdome. Plans were also mooted for a Windsor-based Canadian Football League team which could have used the dome for possible playoff games, but that team also did not materialize.

After the Lions relocated, activity in the Silverdome dropped drastically. However some usage was still present. Annually, Jehovah's Witnesses used the Silverdome from the late 1970s to 2004. Due to talk of renovation in 2004, the Witnesses opted to travel to The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, and the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo, Ohio for their District Conventions.[26] Between 2003 and 2006, the parking lot was used as a drive-in theater.The drive in theater part will Re-Open in april 2010 with 3 screens [6]

The Silverdome was used for Monster Jam on January 7, 2006. It was also used as a practice facility for the AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers for Super Bowl XL, with the NFL adding FieldTurf, which was later donated to a local high school. There was also a celebrity flag football game that Saturday which served as the last event ever at the Silverdome.


With the City of Pontiac being in a serious financial crisis for several years and unable to continue the expensive upkeep and maintenance, several failed attempts were made to sell the stadium.[27][28] However, the city of Pontiac announced in October 2009 that the property would go to auction with no minimum bid, and that zoning regulations would be relaxed for any buyer in order to spark development[29]. The Silverdome was auctioned by Williams & Williams auctioneers on behalf of the City of Pontiac in November 2009.[30]. After reading about the auction in a newspaper, Real Estate developer Andreas Apostolopoulos of Toronto decided to submit a bid of US$583,000. After learning that he had submitted the winning bid, which he said was "a bit surprising," the Canadian made arrangements to visit the Silverdome in late November and take a look at his new property.[31][32] The sale of the Silverdome, completed in 1975 at a cost of $55.7 million (approx. $220 million in 2009 dollars), and sold in 2009 for $583,000 was viewed by many as a symbol of the collapse of real estate prices in the Detroit metropolitan area though many local leaders and residents claimed the sale was brought about due to the incompetence of city management and their not having a vision or future plans for the stadium and surrounding area. [33]


In the Detroit free press on March 11th 2010 Apostolopoulos says he "vows to revive the stadium as a big-event venue by investing millions of dollars in a place he bought for a meager $583,000".[34]


The silverdome will re-open on April 17th 2010 with a monster truck race.[35]


  1. ^ http://archives.record-eagle.com/2005/apr/pope/03dome.htm
  2. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=AUZyxLK85iIC&pg=PT74&lpg=PT74&dq=Silverdome+93,682&source=bl&ots=e03FR8jxmH&sig=XFe5wnLucAvJBVWhT5Ur-3Ojjc8&hl=en&ei=WNIGS_apF9PHlAfP6_mEBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CB8Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Silverdome%2093%2C682&f=false
  3. ^ http://www.athleticturf.net/athleticturf/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=308153
  4. ^ Yandek, Chris (October 2003). "Interview: Randy Savage". Wrestling Digest. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCO/is_3_5/ai_108049489/pg_2. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  5. ^ Eck, Kevin (December 2002). "The main events: ladies and gentlemen, may we present the 25 most memorable matches in the last 25 years". Wrestling Digest. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCO/is_4_4/ai_94123536. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  6. ^ Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon and Schuster. pp. 26. ISBN 1416532579. 
  7. ^ Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1416510583. 
  8. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named slam; see Help:Cite error.
  9. ^ Cohen, Eric. "WrestleMania III". About. http://prowrestling.about.com/od/wrestlemania/p/wm3.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  10. ^ Schramm, Chris (1999-05-07). "A history of crowds". SLAM! Wrestling. http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingGuestColumn/schramm_99may7.html. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  11. ^ http://www.burningshore.com/shows/pink_floyd/division_bell_setlists.html
  12. ^ Charles Donald Davidson Feb.4,1929 - April 1, 1987
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Pontiac High School archives 1945-47
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ http://silverdome-architect.blogspot.com/2009/03/pontiac-times-newspaper-april-4-1974.html
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ Pontiac Press Newspapers - circa 1970-72
  19. ^ Pontiac Times Newspapers - circa 1972-75
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ http://www.genealogy.com/users/b/r/o/Eve-Helen-Brown/FILE/0002text.txt (#125)
  22. ^ http://hermaland.blogspot.com/2006/01/good-times-and-bad-times.html
  23. ^ The Oakland Press, circa 1976
  24. ^ http://www.nba.com/pistons/history/1980s.html
  25. ^ Pontiac Silverdome
  26. ^ http://www.jw-media.org/region/americas/usa/english/releases/events/usa_e040302.htm
  27. ^ Second attempt to deal Silverdome falls through
  28. ^ Council approves sale of Silverdome
  29. ^ Place Your Bids: Silverdome Goes on the Block
  30. ^ Pontiac Silverdome Auction
  31. ^ Toronto developer acquires Pontiac Silverdome The Globe and Mail, 23 November 2009
  32. ^ http://freep.com/article/20091116/NEWS03/91116065/1318/Canadian-firm-submits-winning-bid-of-583000-for-Silverdome
  33. ^ Silverdome Sells for $583,000:
  34. ^ [http://www.freep.com/article/20100311/COL06/3110462/Vision-for-the-Silverdome/New owner's vision for Pontiac Silverdome
  35. ^ [http://www.detnews.com/article/20100311/METRO/3110476/Silverdome-to-reopen-with-monster-truck-event/Silverdome to reopen with monster truck race
Preceded by
Tiger Stadium
Home of
Detroit Lions

Succeeded by
Ford Field
Preceded by
Omni Coliseum
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Capital Centre
Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Host of
Super Bowl XVI

Succeeded by
Rose Bowl
Preceded by
Cobo Arena
Home of the
Detroit Pistons

Succeeded by
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Preceded by
first venue
Home of the
Cherry Bowl

Succeeded by
last venue
Preceded by
Hoosier Dome
Host of
Bands of America
Grand National Championship

Succeeded by
RCA Dome
Preceded by
first stadium
Host of
Motor City Bowl

Succeeded by
Ford Field
Preceded by
Nassau Coliseum
Rosemont Horizon
L.A. Sports Arena
Host of
WrestleMania III

Succeeded by
Trump Plaza

Simple English

File:Where Is Everyone?.jpg
The Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome is a domed stadium in the town of Pontiac, Michigan, near Detroit. It opened in 1975 and closed in 2007. The largest crowds to come to the stadium were for WrestleMania III on March 29, 1987, where the main event was a match between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. The crowd attendance for that night reached 93,173 [1][2][3][4], which is also the record for indoor attendance. The Detroit Lions NFL team played at the stadium from 1975 until 2001.


  1. Yandek, Chris (October 2003). "Interview: Randy Savage". Wrestling Digest. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCO/is_3_5/ai_108049489/pg_2. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  2. Eck, Kevin (December 2002). "The main events: ladies and gentlemen, may we present the 25 most memorable matches in the last 25 years". Wrestling Digest. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCO/is_4_4/ai_94123536. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  3. Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon and Schuster. pp. 26. ISBN 1416532579. 
  4. Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1416510583. 


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